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Julie Wernert
University Information and Technology Services

Last modified: Tuesday, July 6, 2010

IU partners to create advanced national anchor network funded by $62.5 million Recovery Act grant

July 6, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University is collaborating with a group of national research and education networking organizations to construct the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN), an advanced 100 gigabit-per-second national network backbone that will link regional and state research and education networks across the nation -- including Indiana's I-Light.

Indiana University, Internet2, National LambdaRail (NLR), and the Northern Tier Network Consortium (NTNC) will collaborate with technology companies Ciena, Cisco, Infinera, and Juniper Networks to link the networks, as well as other projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

This collaboration is made possible by a National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) award of more than $62.5 million in federal stimulus funding through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The NTIA grant will be supplemented with an additional $34.3 million in contributions from the proposal partners and suppliers.

For Indiana institutions connected to I-Light, the new network will mean expanded educational opportunities and even greater access to cross-institutional collaboration for research and education.

IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler said, "The U.S. lags behind many nations in the availability of very high speed Internet to community institutions. IU is delighted to use our unique networking expertise along with leading research networks and companies to build next-generation networks for communities across the nation. The $97 million project unites an extraordinary list of marquee partners across the nation to improve high-speed Internet connections to many communities."

With $600,000 in new funding from this award, IU will provide network management and engineering services through its premier Global Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC), as it does for many leading networks, including Internet2, NLR and Indiana's I-Light fiber optic network that spans the state.

"This project will play a critical role in expanding high-performance network access to thousands of additional sites, especially in rural and underserved areas," said Indiana University Associate Vice President for Networks Dave Jent. "These new capabilities will be key in our country's economic recovery and sustainability, and will allow us a greater competitive advantage on a global scale. IU is pleased to bring to this initiative more than 10 years of experience in managing national and international networks."

U.S. UCAN fills a critical gap, linking community anchor institutions into an open, national network with next-generation capabilities, end-to-end transparency, and the high levels of performance uniquely suited to the needs of this community. The availability of a coast-to-coast advanced infrastructure will, in partnership with regional and state research and education networks, connect America's community anchor institutions -- schools, libraries, community colleges, health centers and public safety organizations -- to enable advanced applications not possible with today's typical Internet service.

For more information, see the national partnership news release:

About the GlobalNOC at Indiana University
The GlobalNOC at Indiana University provides 24x7x365 professional network support for the most advanced research and education networks in the country. Beginning with its support of Internet2's Abilene network, now known as Internet2 Network, the GlobalNOC has since expanded with the community to support the TransPac2 network, National LambdaRail (NLR), the MANLAN research exchange point in New York City, Indiana's I-Light, the Indiana GigaPoP, the TeraGrid's IPGrid network and the CIC OmniPoP in Chicago, among others. For more information, visit: